Press release from state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes northwestern Bristol:
Rep Hamzy: Measure Requiring Heart Attack Resuscitation Device in Schools Signed into Law
A measure cosponsored by state Representative William A. Hamzy that could mean the difference between life and death for people who suffer heart attacks in a local school building or while attending school-sponsored events has been signed into law by Governor M. Jodi Rell.
The legislation (Public Act 09-94) requires local boards of education (if funding is available) to provide all schools under their jurisdiction with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). The new law also requires boards of education to ensure all schools have staff trained in the use of the devices and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques. In addition, the act allows school boards to accept donated AEDs under certain conditions. It also allows boards to accept gifts, donations, and grants for AED acquisition and staff training costs, said Representative Hamzy, R-78th District.
“Almost all of us have heard or read about people who have suffered heart attacks in school buildings or on school property while attending athletic events or other school-sponsored activities,” Representative Hamzy said. “If the cardiac arrest incident occurred at a school that did not have an automatic external defibrillator on the premises, chances are the victim either died or sustained permanent heart damage.”
“This new law will give people who sustain cardiac arrests on school property a better chance of surviving a potentially fatal heart attack. AEDs save lives and having them on hand in school buildings and at school-sponsored activities that attract large crowds can mean the difference between life and death for heart attack victims,” Representative Hamzy said.
“Another feature of this law that many cash-strapped communities will appreciate is that it does not force local school boards to spend scarce taxpayer dollars to acquire AEDS during economic hard times,” Representative Hamzy said. “It also allows school boards to accept donations, gifts or grants to help them acquire the devices, enabling local schools to comply with the law at a cost taxpayers can afford.”
The law took effect July 1st.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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